TTMA statement on the National Budget 2013/2014
10th September, 2013
The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) is encouraged by the measures outlined in the 2013/2014 National Budget aimed specifically at bolstering this country’s manufacturing sector. As indicated by the Minister of Finance, the non oil sector is driving the recent growth in the economy, and as such the establishment of an enabling environment is critical for its continued growth and development.
With respect to the 2014 Budget, the Association wishes to comment on the following:
The TTMA welcomes the statement regarding the recapitalization of EXIMBANK, which would be beneficial to manufacturers. However, it is concerned with the proposed 4 year time period in which this is to be executed. TTMA would also like to see the programme expanded to include non-traditional markets, as put forward in previous budget recommendations, as well as the availability of finance below market interest rates.
The Association is heartened by the injection of $1 billion to remove the long outstanding backlog of VAT refunds due to companies. We also welcome the commitment by the Government to ensure that all VAT refunds are made “at maximum, within the legal time frame”. TTMA notes the Minister’s statement that the Government proposes to simplify the VAT refund process for the manufacturing sector, and looks forward to the details on these proposals in the debate.
LAND AND BUILDING TAX
The Association is in support of a phased system for the re-introduction of land and building tax, however, the Association objects to the inclusion of plant and machinery under this tax.
PUBLIC PROCUREMENT LEGISLATION
The TTMA is in support of the introduction of the procurement legislation. However, we would like to see the recommendations of the Private Sector/Civil Society Group on Public Procurement Reform incorporated into the Bill prior to being laid in parliament.
The Association supports the initiative announced to develop SMEs through the Fair Share Programme. The TTMA would like to see an expanded framework to govern local content in all public projects.